2 weeks ago

A Reader Writes: Kintsukuroi

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In 2019, my heart and mind shattered into a million pieces.

In the space of two days I had unexpectedly lost a close friend and was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Not only did I receive a diagnosis that turned my world upside-down, but I was also told I needed to stop taking the IVF medication I had started just three days before, full of hope and optimism, my dream of a second child slipping through my fingers.

I took a few weeks off work and spent my time researching the worst-case scenarios, attending medical appointments and crying constantly – only stopping when it was time to pick my little boy up from crèche. I was grieving for the health I had taken for granted, my potentially dismal future, the active mother my child should have, my beautiful friend who had passed away and the second child I may never have. I thought I would never be able to live as I had again.

I am now vulnerable where I had previously been tougher. But with this falling apart, slowly a thousand pieces were stuck back together. By my small group of friends with whom I had shared my diagnosis, who sent flowers, love and care. By my family near and far, numerous WhatsApp texts and calls in the middle of the night across multiple time zones. By my husband who hugged me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep with terror and anxiety. By my little boy who couldn’t care less about any faults his Mammy has and brings joy wherever he goes.

But with this falling apart, slowly a thousand pieces were stuck back together.

I’m now much more compassionate and aware of everybody and everything. I know now that people’s lives may look perfect on Instagram but scratch the surface and there can be heartbreak and also the strength they need to live every day.

I have grown as a person in ways I never could have imagined and take pleasure in the smallest of things. I am present in every moment. I don’t know what lies ahead in the future but I do know now MS is just part of me, it doesn’t have me, I have it.

I feel like the Japanese art of kintsukuroi, the art of repairing potter with gold and understanding the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

Main featured image: via @ladyandpups Instagram

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